What Happened to Calypso?


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What Happened to Calypso?

Firstly woodys, I love this story, way too many woodys have had a false start on a wooden boat project & just walked away & given up on old wooden boats forever. Well folks I can tell you Nick Davidson, who sent me the above photos, is not one of them, he bounced back, but more on that later – the main focus of this story is to try & uncover the mystery of Calypso. I have re-produced Nicks letter to me below – enjoy 🙂
Hi there Alan, have been thinking about an old kauri launch that I used to own back in the 1990’s, wondered what became of her and thought that perhaps one of your readers might have some information.
It is a story of hope turning to despair, however without the tough stories and the failures I suppose you don’t end up learning much!
As I am sure with many of your readership I was one of those guys that wanted to get into a wooden launch, however at the time had not much in the way of cash. It was mid 1999 and I was looking at boats for sale on ‘trademe’ as you do and there was an advertisement for an old 40’ kauri launch that was sitting in a shed in Avondale, Auckland and urgently looking for a new home, so I went along and had a look.

Basically the deal was that the owner of the shed wanted the building back and there had been veiled threats of chainsaws at dawn. As you can see from the photos of Calypso (very unlikely to be her original name) she was in a sorry state. The diesel was gone and there was a fair bit of rot in the house, but the hull looked sound enough and I could not help but fall for the straight stem (made of Pohutukawa) and fantail stern. The information about her provenance was next to nothing, no numbers, or name plates to be found anywhere. I was told that she was used as a ‘long-liner’ working out of the Viaduct for some years and had a build year of 1905 but have never had that corroborated. The diesel disappeared by way of a chainsaw through the cabin roof and she had then been hauled and transported to a storage unit in Avondale.
As it happened I had access to the old Education Department’s disused central stores warehouses that used to back on to the Avondale College, perfect I thought. I arranged for Calypso to be moved there, paid the princely sum of $300 to the owner (no recollection of the name of the chap) and now owned a 40’ launch that needed a bit of work!
Unfortunately, the arrangement to use the old stores warehouse fell through after a few months and I had her moved out to the Marine Haulage yard in Te Atatu where she stayed for a year or two. During that time I went into a boat partnership with a mate and with unbridled optimism we started stripping her out and removing what was left of the paint on her hull. When the cost of keeping her in Te Atatu became a bit too much for our shallow pockets I managed to find an old vegetable storage shed out in Bombay close to the Pukekohe turnoff and away she went again.

With the assistance of an old boat builder (again I cannot recollect his name, but he lived in Tairua, was involved in relocating the old Ngoiro ferry there, drove an old red van and had a cat that used to accompany him around the country!) we removed all the caulking, over many months slowly jacked up the hull to remove the hog in the keel, splined and glassed her to the gunwale with 10 weight triaxial glass. This was all done over a long period as time and money permitted.

As with many of these sorts of projects, in spite my best intentions and a fair degree of bloody mindedness we found ourselves some 6 years on with a sound hull but a long way from ever getting her back in the water. We had by now removed the cabin and decking which was in a much poorer state than first thought, my circumstances had changed and I no longer had the time or the financial resources to take her any further. We also had to move her again and by about 2005 she was now residing in a factory unit off Mahunga Drive in Mangere.

After a great deal of soul searching the decision was made to put her on ‘trademe’ and eventually she was purchased by a chap who described himself as a boat builder and if my recollection serves me correctly was looking to move her up to the Kaipara Harbour where he had a property and complete the re-fit there. Although disappointed that I hadn’t ever seen her in the water, I consoled myself that we had moved her along and that with the new owner’s intention to complete her she would be saved.
That was the last I saw of her!

Whilst owning Calypso had not dampened my desire to own a wooden launch I was certainly much wiser to the challenges, the cost of such an enterprise and in fact promised myself that if I ever did buy another boat she would have to be floating, have good provenance, and be at least structurally sound.

As it happens my wife and I now own the 1951, 32′ Allan Williams sedan launch Juanita (she has been well covered in Waitemata Woodies), she is a joy to own, gets plenty of use and after a fair bit of work is in great trim. The lessons learned from Calypso although painful have served me well, but I do sometimes wonder what became of her and whether the chainsaw got her in the end?

The photos above of Calypso in the water and being hauled were given to me by the previous owner.
There are a couple of her showing where I got to before having to sell (as you can see she was basically back to a bare hull) and a couple of a scale model that I made of her when I was looking to see how a new cabin would look.

Well woodys, as you have read, Nick & family are re-born woodys, we like that – so can we help Nick sleep better at night 🙂 & confirm what happened to Calypso. Good time for our resident Kaipara woody, Zac Matich, to chip in ………………..

Photos below of Juanita leaving Greg Lees (Sandspit) boat shed after a serious spot of TLC. Link below her time in Greg’s shed.
https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/03/21/the-rebirth-of-juanita/

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Juanita a

The Continuing Issue of Electrochemical Damage To Our Wooden Boats – Lady Ellen


 

The Continuing Issue of Electrochemical Damage To Our Wooden Boats

 I recently received an update from Bruce Mitchinson on the restoration work underway on his 36’,  McGeady built (c.1950) classic launch, Lady Ellen. Unfortunately the old lady has a been struck with a dose of electrolysis.

You can see when the secondary shaft log was removed, electrolysis had destroyed the planking around the plate fastenings. The same problem around the main shaft log, and strut fixings, through structural members, which were all bonded together. The affected timber has been removed and new kauri blocks glued in and around the shaft log, keel bolts and floors.

The to-do list this week includes laminating up pilularis frames insitu, to replace the 15 broken, or electrolysis affected members that have been removed.This will complete the inside structural work, below the waterline, that had been put off until things dried out enough.

Other work has seen the old fuel tank removed and a clean up around the bilge in the engine bay Following this Bruce will be working his way forward with stripping and refastening on the outside of the hull.

The shaft, prop and drive couplings have gone down to Whangaparoa for adjustment, set up, and balancing.

Hats off to Bruce for doing the best of Lady Ellen. To read more on this problem, the causes & remedies – visit Chris McMullen’s WW story – link below. Its the most referenced story on WW.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/05/15/electrochemical-damage-to-wood-the-marine-version-of-leaky-homes/

Read more on her past & current restoration work at the links below.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/25/mystery-launch-25-06-2015/

https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/07/14/lady-ellen-restoration/

Colin B


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COLIN B

Last weekends NZ Clinker exhibition at the Viaduct has ‘flushed’ a few clinker tales out of the bottom draw. 

Yesterday I was contacted by Rob Walker whose old friend, Colin Belcher, sent him the above photos of the 18’ clinker named Colin B. 

Colin believes that the boat was built for his father, Jack Belcher, c.1950/51 by a small boatbuilder (size of boat not height 🙂 ) in Ponsonby, possibly named McGeady. When launched it was powered by a Morris marine engine.

It was moored in Hobson Bay, nearest to the dinghy lockers in Ngapipi Road.

At Christmas time it was moored at Waiake Bay, to be close to their camping spot at Long Bay.

Colin commented that she was a seaworthy boat, & may have been involved in a tragedy when a man was drowned returning to Waikeke during a storm. Apparently the boat was purchased from his estate by the Takapuna Boating Club as a rescue craft.

So woodys – can we help Colin out & supply some more details on what became of Colin B. Back then she was a pretty looking clinker so hopefully a TBC member will recall her.

Margaret Anne


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MARGARET ANNE – For Sale

WW has followed the progress of the 1953, Billy Rogers built classic launch Margaret Anne for several years & as we all know; some boats get lucky & land the perfect owner – Margaret Anne is one of those. When Helena Willes bought her back in 2014 she committed to undertaking a bow to stern restoration that included taking a chainsaw to the fly bridgeJ Over the following few years Helena transformed Margaret Anne into the magnificent classic you view above. Given all the time & dollars in the restoration, I was surprised to get a call from Helena advising she was selling Margaret Anne to up roots & head off blue water cruising (yacht).

So woodys another classic is available for sale – in turn-key condition i.e. step aboard & go cruising this summer. I have summarized below all the work done to her. A snap shot – 11m long, 1.2m draft, powered by a Ford Lees 80hp diesel, steading sail, sleeps 5, cruises 8>9 knots.

Helena has asked that interested parties contact the broker she has appointed to handle the sale – Steve Rhea at Vinings 09 376 6737

New since 2014: All new fresh water system including deck wash foot switch fitted and new hose. All wire stays and through bolts are new. New sheets, blocks and lines. Deck light fitted. Stanchions repaired and painted. Bow rails repaired, epoxy sealed and 10 coats of varnish. Hull painted. Entire electrical system is new with state of the art control panels and connections. 2 new deep cycle house batteries (2016), 2 x 150w solar panels, regulator and controller fitted. 800w inverter. Fly-bridge removed, old canvas stripped and brought back to bare wood. Entire roof fibre-glassed and 2 pot epoxy sealed, painted white and then added KiwiGrip for nonskid. New mahogany hand rails fitted, epoxy sealed and varnished 10 coats. Cabin sides stripped and varnished, window beadings removed (rotten) and replaced with Sikaflex. 
Full interior re-paint. All floorboards sanded, filled and oiled. New custom made inner sprung mattress, forward hatch refurbished and epoxy sealed, new hatch light, new toilet & 20L holding tank (all seacocks replaced), new shower head/hose, new taps. New fridge installed. New squabs and covers in saloon and galley. Full exterior canvas cover system, blackout curtains in saloon. Bilges cleaned, red leaded. Rudder post serviced, re-packed. New hydraulic steering ram installed (a spare steering pump and wheel are part of the sale). New steering station panel and instruments: tachometer, depth/fish finder, monitor (solar etc.) Gas locker fitted with two 10kg bottles, solenoid/gas detector and isolation valves. Engine regularly serviced by Moon Engines, new heat exchanger, gear box serviced, new hoses, new lift pump, new exhaust to manifold fitting, new exhaust pipe. Oregon boom fitted for shade and dinghy lifting mechanism. Flagpole renewed. Two new stainless rod holders. New vinyl in galley. All seacocks replaced with plastic. 90L plastic fuel tank system with isolation valves fitted. New fuel line to primary filters. New 50m anchor warp spliced onto chain. The boat has been hauled and antifouled yearly with kiwi prop applied.

 

Aries


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ARIES

Aries was built by Owen Woolley in 1957 for Max Burrett. Peter Walsh, who owned her for 2>3 years c.1982, watched Woolley building her. Her original engines were twin ex-USN 6 cylinder Chrysler Crowns of 1943 vintage. These were later replaced, with twin Commer diesels, when Ed Carter bought her c.1967.

The photos above were taken during Peter Walsh’s ownership c.1982. The photos were sent to me by Allan Keane who commented that Aries was in a sorry state when Peter Walsh purchased her, she had a leaky Commer 105hp engine and very bad bilges.

Peter did a substantial refit at his yard in Onehunga & repowered with twin 135hp Commers, which gave her an impressive 14-15 knots.

Peter sold her to a farmer up in the Bay of Islands and says he shed a tear when she sold – he really loved and admired her.

The photos are at Connells Bay wharf, McMullen and Wings marina, and at Peter Walsh’s yard Onehunga.

Thanks to Harold Kidd & Russell Ward for details on her past ownership & means of propulsion.

Any woodys able to supply more info on her past?

View 2015 photo of Aries in previous WW post   https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/08/25/aries/

 

 

Airforce Patrol Craft + An Unusual Car


AIRFORCE PATROL CRAFT - CLIPPER AUGUST 1939 RNZAF - T COLLINS COLLECTION EX MUSEUM - I.D. PH-2013-7-TC-B731-03

Airforce Patrol Craft

The above photo is dated 1939 & is from the Tudor Collins collection. Only really posted it to have a boat in today story.

15-10-2017 Harold Kidd Input
The launch in the pic is one of the Hubert Scott-Paine 40 footers imported at the beginning of 1940 for TEAL and taken over by the Air Force. W6? Below is a photo of W2.

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But for some serious boat porn, check out James Dreyer’s latest photos of ‘Laughing Lady’ on his Seven Oceans Boatworks Facebook page – click link

The really story is the XK150 Jag below, It was owned by Mr Gardner of Gardner Engines in the UK), Thats him standing alongside it. He re-engined it with a Gardner diesel back in the late1950’s. Rumour has it while the acceleration was not great once off the line she was a flyer 😉 Probably priceless if still around today. Boat & Jag photos ex Ken Ricketts

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15-10-2017 Harold Kidd Input – Lyn Buchanan of John Chambers & Co put a 4 cylinder Gardner in his Packard about 1931. Photo below.

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Rakira


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RAKIRA

Rakira is a carvel kauri launch / motorsailer, built in 1955 at Kawau Island. She measures 29.52’ & is powered with a 54hp Mazda Bongo diesel motor.

That’s about all her trademe listing tells us, if the Kawau build is correct, we must be able to uncover more about her provenance.

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up.

The New Zealand Clinker Boat booklet winner – Is Mike O’Dwyer. Well done 🙂 A lot of you need to read the entry conditions i.e. via email. I’ll give way another copy on Friday,so look out for the quiz.